I’d spent a rest day at Terry’s in Sebastian relaxing on the beach watching the Atlantic. It would have been a perfect time to read on my Kindle, if only it hadn’t broken. Walking out of Terry’s back door you’re on the beach in 10 seconds and it’s lovely. Amazingly I’d not really seen too many sunrises coming up over the Atlantic as I’d headed up from Key West so happily took up Terry’s offer to be woken up in time to make sure I could see it.

Terry lives a couple of miles south of Sebastian Inlet State Park and with a short day ahead was happy to turn in and wander round. The highlight was watching the pelicans fighting for position near a lady who was cutting up fish that the nearby fishermen had pulled up. There was a clear hierarchy and every time a pelican tried to change positions they’d get scared away immediately.

When I was leaving the park a ranger asked me if I was from England and let me know that Terry had been looking for me so I went of to find him. I saw him at his office and he invited me out for lunch with his colleagues at their local restaurant which I took him up on. I had the usual amazement at hearing what I was doing and the worries that people have about the scary people that I must surely be meeting based on some stories that had been on the news at some stage. As Peter Gostelow said, “people love to hear things that perhaps reinforce the stereotypes/prejudices they have.” and it’s something I’ve definitely noticed. When I speak with some people about the wonderful interactions I’ve had during this trip sometimes they seem like they’d rather have heard that people have tried to run me off the roads, been discourteous and tried to shoot me. Maybe instead of talking about my positive experiences in places like Montana, Stratford, Kalamazoo or Tillamook I should talk about the negative ones like the moronic passenger who threw a pear at me, the angry guy near the Floridian Panhandle or the drivers in Miami.

The ride up to Melbourne hugged the coast and continued past some phenomenally expensive houses. There must be an uptick in the economy in that area at least as there were plenty of houses being either built from scratch or being renovated. Some of the mansions advertised having 6 car garages and it reminded me being back in SF when Laura took us to see some ridiculous housing.

I stopped briefly at the library in Melbourne to study Spanish and feeling lazy tried to use the computers in the library. I was told that I needed a visitor pass and that that’d cost me a dollar. With my laptop in my bag I turned them down and went outside to sit on a bench instead. I don’t often try to use them, but I’m hoping it’s just because it’s such a touristy area.

I finished the ride over to John & Ann’s place at a fair clip with a wonderful tailwind which pushed me along at 25 mph. It let me keep up with a guy on a road bike who was drafting behind a car and he seemed rather saddened that I could do so.

The short ride meant I arrived earlier than I usually do and so got to spend the afternoon and evening talking and getting to find out about Ann & John which was a privilege. Ann had been excited about hosting me so instead of asking me the usual questions like Where have you been? and Why did you want to do this? she mentioned that I need to work on my gear list (I do) and asked me more about Alix which meant I could jump over the initial part of the usual conversation I have with people.


Coming up

On the beach